“Excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” – Aristotle

Courage is a muscle. Just as you wouldn’t go into the gym for the first time and lift a 100-pound dumbbell – you don’t have to begin building courage by running for President.

People often think that courage has to be big. Like sky-diving. Or giving a speech to a stadium.

Those things do require courage, yes. But in some ways, that’s baby courage. It’s obvious courage. I call it Bungee-Jumping Courage.

Bungee-Jumping Courage is convenient because it lets us define ourselves as “not courageous.” When you set the stakes that high, then you never have to approach it. You simply get to say, “Hmm, I must not have courage.”

I’m not letting you get off that easy.


Because there’s a deeper level of courage. It makes you strong. It makes you fall in love with yourself. It makes you fall in love with your life.

At its core, courage is about strengthening your relationship with yourself.

Here are 52 ways – little and big – to build your courage. Some of them seem completely foolish. But they’re not. They’re just uncomfortable. And that’s the whole point! Success in life is directly related to how uncomfortable you’re willing get. Now, get uncomfortable and go be courageous!


1 – Paint your nails green. (Guys get extra credit for this one!)

2 – Starting right now, live your life as an “experiment.”

3 – If you’re always spontaneous, plan something in advance and stick with it. If you’re a meticulous planner, do something spontaneous.

4 – Quit your job.

5 – Start a blog.

6 – Take a drawing class.

7 – Learn a new language.

8 – Begin yoga.

9 – Do something tourist-y in your own town.

10 – Get up in the morning after having a bad day yesterday. Encourage yourself to begin again.

11 – Give money away.

12 – Look into people’s eyes when you’re in public – on the street, buying groceries, etc.

13 – Hire someone to do a regular task you can’t stand doing. (i.e., mowing the lawn.)

14 – Play music more. Watch TV less.

15 – Get rid of everything in your home that’s not an Absolute Yes.  Currently working on that

16 – Put on a goofy smile and look at other drivers when you stop at lights.

17 – Go Paleo.

18 – If you never host parties or dinners – invite friends over for dinner.

19 – Teach a workshop.

20 – Join a high-level mastermind group.

21 – Be bad at something. Do it anyway.

22 – Make requests. Don’t complain.

23 – Set a big fat juicy goal and go for it.

24 – Hire a life coach.

25 – In social situations, allow people to talk with you instead of running around the room “networking.”

26 – Worry less. Act more.

27 – Enter a contest.

28 – Start a business.

29 – Ask someone out on a date.

30 – Make a business for yourself.

31 – Eat at an ethnic restaurant you’ve never considered.

32 – Respond. Don’t react.

33 – Get some music from another culture. Sit down and really listen.

34 – Listen more. Talk less. Especially to your kids.

35 – Take a swing dance class.

36 – Hire a physical trainer.

37 – Start a book club.

38 – Test-drive a luxury car.

39 – Buy a luxury car.

40 – End relationships that drain you or hurt you

41 – Quit smoking.

42 – Take different routes to work each day.

43 – Drive around and get lost on purpose.

44 – Wake up at 5am and write.

45 – Assumptions are the enemy of success. Question them often.

46 – Excuses are the enemy of action. Stop making them.

47 – Admit when you are wrong. The most liberating lesson I’ve learnt

48 – Write a fan letter to someone who’s not famous – a teacher, a grocery store clerk – anyone who delights you or touches you.

49 – Pick one incompletion in your life. Tackle it until it’s complete.

50 – Do a free seminar.

51 – Pay the toll of the person behind you.

52 – Run for President.

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://www.christinekane.com/.
See Christine’s blog at ChristineKane.com/blog

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4 Comments on 52 Ways to Build Your Courage by Christine Kane

  1. Shybiker
    27 October 2011 at 13:49 (10 years ago)

    Great post. Good advice. I agree with No. 1.

    Pushing beyond our comfort-zone is hard, but gets easier with practice. Courage is a skill we can develop by trying and trying.

  2. Lynette
    28 October 2011 at 15:23 (10 years ago)

    I love this…and no…I don’t take to change kindly, so I can’t see me working through this list.

  3. Noleen
    1 November 2011 at 12:26 (10 years ago)

    Some serious challenges for me on this list Wends #41 is a big one I am working on already!!